MANILA - Washington Sycip, one of the Philippines' most enduring tycoons and philanthropists, passed away at the age of 96, the company he founded confirmed Sunday.
"With deep sadness, the partners, principals and staff of SGV & Co. announce the passing of SGV Founder Washington SyCip on the 7th of October 2017," SGV & Co. said in a statement on its Facebook page.
"Mr. SyCip went quietly while on a flight to Vancouver from Manila. He was 96 years old. The SyCip family requests for some private time at this moment."
Sycip, who founded SGV & Company and the Asian Institute of Management, remained active in the business community as a board member of several corporations despite his age.
He also devoted time to his chosen advocacy of enabling poor Filipinos' access to education.
"Education is free, but you do need tsinelas, you do need a shirt, you do need money for pencil, paper, notebooks," Sycip said in an interview in 2015 with ANC's Cathy Yang.
To remedy this problem, Sycip lent money to the poor through his chosen non-governmental organization CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions.
"But the poor are more honest than the rich. And the repayment rate is 99.9 percent," Sycip said.
Throughout his career he also believed that Filipinos have what it takes to succeed.
"I have full confidence in the ability of the Filipino--men or women---to compete."
The Sycip family is expected to issue a statement soon on the wake and funeral arrangements for the late tycoon.